From the Jewellery Quarter, Pete Allen took me on a mini tour of Birmingham heritage.  On his own pub blog Pete looks at the changing face of canalside pubs over the decades; here we strolled through the Victorian and Edwardian centre.

Brum central.PNG

The beer range may have changed this century (bye bye Ansells), but the remaining pubs still impress.


Queen’s Arms


We caught up with the official crawl at the Post Office Vaults, to find that some Evil Keg Hipsters had skipped the Jewellery Quarter in favour of the Pure Craft Bar.


Where will it end ?

I went trad.


Despite being underground, I do like the P.O.V. Something about the nooks and crannies and mix of customers you get here.  And the Hobson Mild (NBSS 4) served in a thick glass was a joy.   Only now do I notice I could have had Brass Castle.

I think you’ll agree I’ve caught Mudge beautifully in profile here. (the later photos of Mudge dancing on the table in the Gunmakers are subject to ongoing legal action).


Note the pint men.  A good start.

You’ll all know this next one.  Though some of our group didn’t.


Now I haven’t always got on with the Welly.  Being blunt, it was packed, whiffy and a bit “CAMRA Beer Festival” at the start; the whole “count-the-handpumps” thing isn’t my scene.  But I’d always pop in on work overnighters in Brum, and the last couple of times I’ve found it a bit more light and airy, with the roof terrace a joy.


Most folk went Oakham, I feel strangely obliged to go for the house beers (Pig on the Wall) in Black Country pubs and be slightly disappointed.

A nice arty picture of lager glasses for you.


The Unofficial Official Pub Crawl, led by Pub Curmudgeon, then moved on (appropriately) to the Old Contemptibles for lunch



Despite being rather lovely, I left them there to argue about Davenports home delivery service over fish and chips, on the basis that;

  • I’d already done it (full of suits when I went)
  • It’s a Nicholson’s
  • I had the rest of the “new” Jewellery Quarter to explore
  • Like a dog, I get irritable if not allowed a walk at regular intervals

So, after ClosedPubGate, I met up again at the Gunmakers, where West Brom’s top pub man also joined us to put our wimpy drinking to shame. Light, quirky and with one of the beer choices in the city.


Some top class service here as well, though I sense the artwork was more to my taste than others in the group.


As always, I preferred the dark Two Towers beer someone else had to the pale one I had.

It must have been a good afternoon, as my notes are scant and photos few, always a good sign.

A few observations;

The pubs were ticking over but quiet on a lovely Saturday afternoon, with the  Eagle & Ball and the Bull unexpectedly closed.

Only four pubs in Central Brum in the Beer Guide this year; our group did them allIs this due to improvements to the west and the south ?  We shall see.

A great mix of pub styles and quick, cheery service in all of them.  It can be done.



  1. From what I have seen most canal walks in urban areas have a lot of litter strewn around. The last picture of the canal is really litter free. Kind of unusual.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That stretch of canal was ‘notorious’ as a haven for junkies and a place for other sordid acts, but the Canal & River Trust and Birmingham Council have made a concerted effort to clean it up and keep it clean…it seems to be working.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. The profile pic is OK, but the second one makes me look as though it was the end of the crawl rather than only the second pub (and only drinking a half) 😮

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Worth mentioning that we were all pretty well fed in the Old Contemptibles, and at reasonable prices for a non-Wetherspoons chain pub. It was also (unlike the Gunmakers) standing room only, with a gaggle of drinkers in the middle of the floor.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. “It must have been a good afternoon, as my notes are scant and photos few, always a good sign.”

    Indeed. Looks like a good time was had by all. Love the way you could head out on your own for a bit then hook back up. That speaks of good planning. 🙂



  5. It was a great day out , my first drinking experience of Birmingham, I’m sure there’s a lot more to explore, more than that it was great to meet a lot of new friends, even if we may have differing views on beer and pubs in general the main passion is evident.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Agree. A bit of variety is good on a crawl. Some of you would have liked the craft bar (Wildcat Tap in Stirchley) I went to while you did Craven Arms. Some wouldn’t 😉

      NB Deleted your first comment, not sure there is an edit function.

      Thanks for commenting.


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